Second US presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden officially cancelled
The second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will not proceed, the Commission on Presidential Debates has said in a statement.
- The commission had planned to hold a virtual debate after Mr Trump contracted the coronavirus
- Mr Trump said he would not participate in a debate in that format
- The third debate is scheduled for October 22
The Commission said both campaigns had announced “alternate plans for that date”.
“It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22,” the commission said in an emailed statement.
The decision was made a day after the commission announced the debate would take place “virtually” because Mr Trump had contracted the coronavirus.
Mr Trump said he would not participate in a debate in that format, prompting Mr Biden to scheduled a town hall-style meeting with America’s ABC News for that night.
Mr Trump’s team later countered with a call to hold the debates as scheduled, once the President’s doctor said he would be cleared to hold public events from Saturday.
But the commission said it would not reverse its decision to prevent the candidates from being on stage together, citing health concerns.
It would not have been the first time two United States presidential hopefuls faced off in a televised debate from different locations; Senator John F Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon held a long-distance debate in 1960, live from opposite coasts.
Mr Trump expressed concern on Thursday that the new virtual format could lead to his microphone getting cut off during the encounter.
Mr Biden leads in nationwide opinion polls ahead of the November 3 presidential vote, but they show a tighter race in many of the battleground states that may decide the election.
The third debate, scheduled for October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee, is still on.
Fauci criticisers White House ‘superspreader’ event
Anthony Fauci,director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, criticised the White House for hosting a gathering last month that has been linked to an outbreak of COVID-19.
Dr Fauci called the Rose Garden ceremony, whereMr Trump announced thenomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, a “superspreader event”.
Multiple attendees later tested positive for coronavirus.
Mr Trump tested positive on October 1, and US media reported 34 White House aides and other contacts have tested positive for the virus in recent days.
“We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together, were not wearing masks.”
White House doctor Sean Conley said in a memo on Thursday that, “based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting”, he could “fully anticipate the President’s safe return to public engagements” as soon as Saturday.
However, Mr Trump has not said when his last negative COVID-19 test was.